Some call it a pod some call it a Juul, but more commonly known as a ‘vape’ is a form of E-cigarette that took off in popularity around 2010. This might be shocking to many, as the popularity of vapes took off in later years largely due to social media. This e-cigarette became popular among many, especially those in the younger generations due to the large amont of flavoured smoke that is created with just one hit. Whether it is the wide range of good flavours or the aesthetic and cool smoke effect, the popularity of vaping definitely sky-rocketed more than ever in recent years.
While many from the older generations might have thought smoking cigarettes was irreplaceable, vapes came along and took over. Suddenly in place of seeing someone holding a white and brown coloured cigarette, you may find a colourful pen-shaped device in the hands of many.
While it started off as a few kids harmlessly blowing strawberry-flavoured smoke around the neighbourhood, vaping soon became such a social norm that almost every teenager and anyone in their 20s and even 30s had pods – and while one might have been acceptable, most people got one in every single flavour, collecting the emptied out containers making it a collectable to show off to friends.
The biggest question that arises due to it becoming so popular is if smoking is so looked down on in society due to its harmful nature, why has vaping or owning several pods become so normalised in society? Whether it is the aesthetic containers that look so harmless or because it is used more often by the youth, one of the biggest reasons surely is due to the smoke coming out of vapes having fruity scents rather than the harsh smells of cigarette smoke making vapes look extremely harmless in comparison.
However, every once in a while there is always a news report that pops up about the harmful nature of vaping – which is often dismissed by the youth as they are ‘singled out’ incidents. But do we really have to wait for the side effects of vaping to become extremely common for measures to be taken and advice to be heard?
Just like how smoking was deemed cool and socially acceptable in the past, before discoveries were made heavily connecting lung cancer to smoking, the negative effects of vaping are also slowly surfacing.
With news being reported of two incidents in the Maldives of people suffering severe negative impacts of vaping, will the youth start considering giving up this bad habit that has become so normalised in today’s society?
Dr. Mohamed Faalih Ali, a famous Maldivian pulmonologist, explained the devastating effects of vaping on one's health in an interview with the local news outlet 'Mihaaru,' as it can cause pneumonia to the point that the patient may require a ventilator for treatment. In more severe situations, lung ruptures, such as the two recorded in the Maldives, may occur as a result of heavy vaping.
While local and international media outlets report on such cases, highlighting the negativity of vaping, it appears that vaping has been strongly embedded into society at this point. Wherever you go, somebody always has a vape that they’re offering to a peer or even a stranger as a way of forming a bond. With vapes having become the next cigarette, we might not be too far from knowing exactly the damage that is being done to our body as a result of vaping.